Press releases, 08.04.2024

On 11 and 12 April 2024, President of the Confederation Viola Amherd and Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis will take part in the third International Cooperation Forum (IC Forum) in Basel. 'What is Peace?' will be the guiding theme for discussions between representatives from politics, academia, the private sector and civil society. The goal of the IC Forum is to identify new avenues for promoting peace.

Each year, the IC Forum brings together key actors in international cooperation for a two-day conference. This platform provides a valuable opportunity for in-depth discussions on the core challenges of international cooperation, with a central focus on peace this year. Switzerland has a long tradition of peacebuilding and has woven the concept of 'building bridges' into the very fabric of its foreign policy.

At the IC Forum, President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd will stress the importance of combining the various instruments available to Switzerland to promote peace. The forum serves as a platform to maximise this synergy.

The forum facilitates discussion and debate – a key priority for Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, who emphasises the international community's critical need to contemplate, establish and ensure peace.
The guest of honour, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde will also participate in the forum. A bilateral meeting between Ms Amherd and Ms Zewde is also scheduled for 11 April, on the margins of the event.

How can we achieve lasting peace?

In the current context where we see a growing number of conflicts with significant repercussions for international cooperation, the IC Forum aims to identify new paths, approaches, and innovative ideas for development and peace. It seeks to foster comprehensive and inclusive reflection.

The forum also raises the crucial question of trust: how can we establish the foundations to envision a path towards peace? In this context, it will consider two perspectives: those of the private sector and of young people.

This year's forum will present awards to three Swiss companies for their innovative and significant contributions to the promotion of peace. A jury of experts evaluated the competing projects and selected three winners, who will be presented with the IC Award by Mr Cassis on April 11.

The forum will also give a voice to the younger generation. A 'Youth Manifesto' for peace will be presented to the forum participants in Basel. This document reflects the thoughts of a group of young people from Switzerland's three main language communities on how to contribute to sustainable peace.

Participants from over 100 countries

The hybrid nature of the event, featuring thematic and geographic workshops that combine theory with practice, will enable all participants to actively contribute to the discussion. Approximately 1,700 individuals from over 100 countries have registered, with more than 900 expected to attend the event in person.

The IC Forum is organised by the SDC and the Peace and Human Rights Division of the FDFA in collaboration with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.


Further information:

FDFA Article

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